The chief executive officer of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), Johny Smith, has been named as Africa’s Transport Leader of the Year for 2016, by the Transport Africa Awards.
This is the second major accolade awarded to Namibia’s transport sector, following last year’s award to the Namibia Port Authority (Namport) as the African Port Operator of the Year.
The Transport Africa Awards were introduced in 2008 to identify and reward leaders in transportation who demonstrate an unparalleled ability to succeed, offer a competitive advantage and set standards of excellence in the sector. The awards have since recognised transport companies in rail, port, and road across Africa.
Smith takes the African Transport Leader of the Year accolade from Patricia Norris of South Africa’s Commuter Transport Engineering Investments, who won the award in 2015.
“It is a great accomplishment to receive this esteemed award. However, it is important to note as Namibia is transforming itself into a logistics hub, we continue to focus on developing infrastructure and improve competitiveness by serving the logistics sector in the SADC region,” said Smith when accepting his award on June 28 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Some of the finalists for the award of African Transport Leader of the Year 2016 included the CEO of the Transnet Group, as well as the secretary general of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa.
“The acknowledgement provides a major boost for Namibia’s transport developments and is also important as the position of Namibia to become a logistics hub is becoming well recognised by industry leaders in the southern African region and abroad,” read the statement from Walvis Bay Corridor Group.
The Leader of the Year award also recognises an individual who has the courage and conviction to make fundamental changes in the way they operate – changes that are disruptive of the status quo and forward-thinking.
The award recognises the African Railway Operator of the Year, African Airport Operator of the Year, and African Port Operator of the Year. The Africa Transport Awards constitute seven categories, where one category centres on the individual and the other categories focus on outstanding excellence of companies.
Other categories include the Premier Transport Project amongst companies, Freight and Logistics Company of the year and African Transport Innovation Award.